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Student profiles

Read our student profiles to find out what it’s really like to be an Environmental Sciences student at Brunel University London. 

Shell Live WIRE UK - Carlton CummingsCarlton 

Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Design MSc

2016 Graduate  


Brunel graduate Carlton Cummins’ innovative solution to the huge waste management problem created by supposedly ‘dead’ lithium batteries has seen him named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 European science entrepreneurs.

"My course changed my thinking about environmental problems and solutions design. It introduced me to many philosophies like clean technology and sustainable design which really helped shape my ideas."


Environmental Science: Pollution and Monitoring MSc

After applying to a number of universities for postgraduate courses in the area of environmental science, I chose Brunel for a number of reasons including reputation (i.e. joint top in the world for most cited environmental science articles), location and the flexible nature of study offered. I found the course to be both interesting and challenging, two important ingredients needed in order to foster intellectual growth and development. Over the duration of the course I successfully delivered a number of oral presentations and partook in a series of group projects, simultaneously increasing my scientific knowledge while improving my employability skills.

As it is my intention to undertake a PhD in a related field, this course has provided me with the necessary research skills to move forward confidently. I now possess in-depth knowledge of sampling techniques, analytical techniques and an array of statistical methods to interpret raw data. Outside of the academic content, I developed strong relationships with my lecturers who helped me to grow as both a scientist and as a person. More importantly, I have had the chance to meet and interact with students from all over the globe who share the same research interests as me. Overall my time at the Institute for the Environment has been a valuable and fulfilling experience; an experience which passed too quickly!


Environmental Science: Pollution and Monitoring MSc


Initially, I wanted to study archaeology and this was influenced by the Indiana Jones movie. I ended up getting a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos Nigeria. The decision to study the environment came when the department took us on a field trip to Ghana to study the algae community flourishing on the natural rocky shores of Accra as part of the “littoral algae ecology” course work. It was a beautiful sight indeed and it awakened me to the need to preserve nature and the stress human activities imposed on the environment. 

My experience at Brunel

The teaching staff are excellent and most importantly they always had time and patience for the barrage of questions we, the students threw at them. I especially appreciated the way we were fully engaged in every aspect of the learning process. Questions were usually ambiguous, which meant our thinking and analytical skills were constantly being tested.

The various field trips were also very helpful; I especially enjoyed the one to the landfill site at Wopseys wood and the Material Recovery Facility of Grundon; proper waste management is an issue yet to be properly dealt with in Nigeria but it is work in progress. Working and discussing in groups was part of the course work and this enabled me to see things from other people’s perspective and also learn the different environmental issues students from other parts of the world were facing in their country.

We also had guest lecturers from other universities and environmental consulting firms give us lectures and real life scenarios of what to expect on the job. It was also very interesting to learn the very stringent EU laws and regulations with regards to the environment. It was indeed a wonderful learning experience at IFE and I have really good memories of the long hours at the library and the fun I had with my wonderful course mates who are my very good friends till date.